The Ithaca College women’s basketball team advances to the Empire 8 Conference Championship after a 64–55 semifinals victory over Hartwick College on Feb. 24 in the Canavan Arena in Hoboken, New Jersey. The Bombers are 23–3 for the season and have increased their winning streak to 12 consecutive games. This will be the Bombers’ ninth straight appearance in the Empire 8 Championship.
The South Hill squad fought in a back-and-forth competition against the Hawks for a majority of the game. It was not until the fourth quarter when the Bombers gained control by outscoring Hartwick 20–9.
Senior Erin Ferguson was an important factor all around for the Bombers’ victory. Ferguson netted a game-high 21 points, 14 of which came in the fourth quarter. She also grabbed seven rebounds and dished out five assists, leading the team in all three categories.
The Blue and Gold were able to convert the Hawks’ 25 turnovers into 23 points, accounting for over a third of their team’s total points. The Bombers also assisted on 16 baskets and accumulated nine steals during the game.
Although the fourth quarter was a strong scoring quarter for the Bombers, it was not the only one.
In the second quarter, the South Hill squad outscored Hartwick 17–15. Eventually, the Hawks came back and ended the half with a 31–28 lead.
A strong contributor to the Bombers’ scoring run was senior Ali Ricchiuti. Ricchiuti cut the Bombers’ 16–9 deficit to two with back-to-back layups at the end of the first qarter. She also assisted on a fast break lay-up to Ferguson. Ricchiuti finished the evening with 15 points, five rebounds and four assists.
Junior Julie Yacovoni also had a prominent role in the Bombers’ victory. Yacovoni went 6-for-10 from the field for 12 points and grabbed three rebounds and two steals.
The Blue and Gold not only had impressive individual efforts but an all–around team effort as well. Twelve combined points came from sophomores Meghan Pickell, Annie Giannone and Sara Jackson and senior Shayna Gaskins.
The Bombers will play against the top-seeded Stevens Institute of Technology for the Empire 8 Conference Championship at 4 p.m. Feb. 25 in Hoboken, New Jersey.
CORRECTION: The team has been to the Empire 8 Championships nine consecutive times, not seven.